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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us


~DEP's continued regulation, improvements by major sources leads to cleaner Florida air~

TALLAHASSEE In 2012, air emissions from Florida’s industrial facilities hit their lowest levels since the Florida Department of Environmental Protection began tracking them in 1985, due to the Department's oversight and facilities' use of new technology to curb pollutants.

Since 2010, annual air emissions have declined nearly 22 percent to 412,628 tons. A decade ago, Florida’s industrial facilities emitted nearly 1.1 million tons of pollutants annually. The result is that Florida's air quality has improved and Florida can boast that its air quality is among the best in the nation.

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association released its 2013 State of the Air study, which reported that Florida experienced zero unhealthy days for ozone pollution during the three-year study period. In addition, the Association ranked four Florida cities among the 16 cleanest nationwide for both year-round and short-term particle pollution.

"This is great news for Florida—fewer air emissions mean better air quality for Floridians and visitors," said Brian Accardo, Director of the Division of Air Resource Management. "Department staff is focused on ensuring regulated businesses comply with stringent emission limits and use the latest technology to curb pollution.”

The Department also recognizes the benefit of incentivizing additional reductions. One successful initiative led by the Department in 2012 was the Title V Fee Holiday, which reduced emissions by nearly 1,900 tons while saving Florida small businesses more than $300,000 statewide. The Department's initiative allowed businesses that curbed emissions to have a $5,000 fee waived. Title V is a federal program run by states in which facilities pay to offset the regulatory cost of controlling air emissions from certain industrial facilities. Ultimately, 281 businesses kept their 2012 air emissions low enough to qualify for the fee holiday.

This year, if major industrial facilities emit fewer air emissions than authorized by permit, the Department will allow those facilities to pay fees only on the pollutants actually emitted. Previously, some facilities would pay fees on allowed emissions. The Department’s new approach will provide businesses a financial incentive to reduce pollution. Continued use of traditional regulatory and incentive-based measures such as these will assure that Florida is as prepared as possible to comply with increasingly stringent national clean air standards.

The Department's website allows the public to monitor updated air quality information through its Spatial Air Quality System. Web users are able to access updated air quality data as reported by Florida’s statewide network of air quality monitors. Additional information about Florida's air quality is available through the Department's Division of Air Resource Management website.

Click here to view a year-by-year list of air emissions in Florida.